Cloud seeding to continue: Abu Bakar

NST, 11 Mar 2014

MALACCA: The Meteorological Department (MMD) will continue cloud seeding despite failed attempts to induce rain at the Jasin district here.

Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah said the department has carried out cloud seeding operations on Friday and Saturday at the Jus dam in Jasin, however, both the operations did not display a positive result.
“Cloud seeding can only be done in the existence of unstable towering cumulus clouds that contain sufficient moist air in it. Both cloud seeding attempts at the same area had failed because of the lack of moisture in the cumulus clouds in the sky.
“MMD officers had been asked to keep tabs on the wind directions worldwide and identifying the availability for such towering clouds as well as forecasting the amount of moisture in it before we can run the cloud seeding exercise.
“This means that we will locate the presence of the towering cumulus clouds, study the speed and direction of the clouds to gauge how much moisture could be absorbed as they hover over oceans,” he said to reporters after witnessing the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Construction Industry Development Board Malaysia (CIDB) and Merlimau Polytechnic at the Merlimau Polytechnic, here, today.
The collaboration between the two parties allows engineering department of the Merlimau Polytechnic to provide electrical courses and trainings for industry players listed under CIDB.
Abu Bakar said the cost to carry out a single operation is about RM80,000 per flight trip, thus, a close monitoring by the MMD must be done before carrying out the exercise.
“Bear in mind we are not producing rain, but we are inducing rain. This is why the clouds must be unstable and contain enough moisture.
“MMD had since the dryspell, done six cloud seeding operations in which four had successfully induced rain in parts of Kuala Lumpur and Negeri Sembilan.
“We are on standby with cloud seeding equipment and we will carry out the exercise immediately if there are suitable clouds,” he said.
Since 1977, a total of 284 cloud seeding operations have been implemented with about 85 per cent of successes.
He however added that natural rain is expected to fall by next week in view of the Northeast Monsoon season kicking in during mid-March.
On another note, he advised Malaysians not spread false information about the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) aircraft MH370 since last Saturday.
“Please do not believe in rumours and only obtain information from official announcements by the related authorities. The search and rescue team are using every assets and manpower they have to find the aircraft.
“But speculations and spreading of false information would only affect the emotions of the family victims,” he said.

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